Friday, December 16, 2022

The next Tomb Raider video game will be published by Amazon

 Written by Kellen Browning Amazon announced Thursday that it would publish the next iteration of the popular video game franchise "Tomb Raider," a coup for the tech giant's video game business. The new "Tomb Raider" game will be the first major single-player game published by Amazon Games, which struggled for years to break into the challenging, isolated world of game development. Crystal Dynamics, a game studio based in California, created the action-adventure game Tomb Raider, in which Lara Croft, a British archaeologist, explores unexplored tombs all over the world, solving puzzles and battling evil characters.

The Japanese company Square Enix released more recent versions of the game, like the well-received 2018 title "Shadow of the Tomb Raider." Numerous feature films have also been influenced by the franchise.

The upcoming game, which does not yet have a release date and is still in its early stages of development, is still being developed by Crystal Dynamics. However, Amazon will be the publisher, which means that it is collaborating closely with Crystal Dynamics on "creative support" and is in charge of things like marketing, shipping the book to various online and retail outlets, and advertising.

The upcoming "Tomb Raider" game will be Amazon Games' first major single-player title. The company struggled for years to break into the difficult and isolated game development industry before eventually finding success with multiplayer online games. It could be a significant step for Amazon to include a flagship, single-player game in its portfolio, which would also increase the company's industry credibility.

In an interview, Amazon Games vice president Christoph Hartmann stated, "It's a huge moment for us." You would have laughed if someone had told you four years ago that Amazon was making games.

Amazon's decade-old video game division floundered under Mike Frazzini, a longtime executive who left the company this year. In 2018, the company appointed Hartmann to report to Frazzini. Hartmann is an industry veteran who founded 2K Games, which produces well-known video games like NBA 2K.

Before announcing this year that it would be discontinuing the entire gaming service, Google, which had also ventured into video games, shut down the in-house game development arm of its gaming service, Stadia, in 2021. Some people feared that Amazon's plans for video games might also fail.

However, Amazon finally released "New World," a popular multiplayer game, last fall, and "Lost Ark," another well-received game, this spring. "Tomb Raider" may build on that success. Hartmann believes that time is on his side because he is just one part of a larger company that is patient and does not seek immediate financial success, despite the fact that Amazon is a late entrant into the video game market and trails other wealthy companies like Microsoft.

He stated, "I'm here to build great games, I'm not part of that rat race for who is outperforming the other one."

Scot Amos, the studio head at Crystal Dynamics, stated that the new "Tomb Raider" game will go "back to our roots" after wrapping up a trilogy of games detailing Lara Croft's origins. However, he stated that it was too early to provide many details.

He stated, "There’s a logical evolution of what we can do next there, as far as how we can actually give her a bigger adventure, even more things to do, more worlds, and mysteries to explore."

Bringing in video game veterans has paid off for Amazon. Despite the fact that Amazon is relatively new to the gaming industry, he stated, Amos' studio was convinced to partner with Amazon.

Amos stated, "When we started this conversation, we weren't aware of the characteristics of Amazon's group." We were aware that they sold a few games, but when we started talking to Christoph, he said, "Oh, by the way, by the way, we all have 25, 30, or more years of experience in this business."

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